6 posts categorized "Kindness"

Bearing fruit - the power of kindness

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As Dineen shared last week we both attended a writer’s conference in Nashville ten days ago. It was a tremendous few days for both of us on a number of fronts, not least hearing from the Lord regarding our writing. It was a wonderful answer to prayer for both of us. God is good.

We'll save those stories for another time.

Family

One aspect of the event that I so loved back in 2012 was a sense of the familial. Yes, even when I didn’t know the majority I felt accepted, loved and appreciated. Simply because I was sharing the same journey they were. Yes, having an Aussie accent probably helped a little too.

I experienced the same sensation this time too. Perhaps even stronger. Yes, since 2012 I’ve developed friendships with attendees (like Dineen) but it’s like any new friendship. We get excited in the early days as we learn more about each other and the yearning for more grows.

Funny, I’ve discovered in the last year or so that the more time I spend with the Lord, especially in our secret place together, and in His Word, the stronger the yearning for more of Him has grown.

Vine and Branches

We’re all familiar with this analogy Jesus uses. It’s one that I’ve meditated upon a lot in recent times. Enjoying the Lord and His presence is self-perpetuating. The time we spend with Him, the more time we want to spend with Him.

I was extraordinarily blessed on a number of occasions at the conference by the kindness of others.

Kindness. I love this word. It’s a bit old fashioned a word, isn’t it? We all intuitively understand what it means and we can often miss it when we receive it.

The keynote author gave me ninety minutes one-on-one, another author who is highly sought after by many sought after me to have dinner, and dear Dineen made a point of celebrating a successful meeting I had with my publisher. And then there were all the little moments of people stepping out of their way to say hi. One author even rode down and back up another escalator simply to say hi.

Kindness.

As I’ve mentioned to many on my return my heart is full. And still is. Even almost two weeks later.

Jesus and His Interactions

The Samaritan Woman, the adulterous woman hauled before Him by the Pharisees, and His interaction with Peter on the beach after His resurrection.

All examples of kindness. Yes, there are many other lessons to be learnt in those particular examples but in each of them we see Jesus being kind. The individual standing in front of Him had sinned and in the world’s eyes, big! Jesus didn’t focus on the sin, or their shame. He focused on their heart.

One of the first signs for me that I’ve become too self-absorbed or I’ve slightly withdrawn/disconnected from my wife is I’ve stopped being kind. I forget to make the morning smoothie or send the ‘sweet nothings’ text.

Abiding and Fruit Bearing

Often we’re hurting for good reason. We’ve been let down, unfairly treated or spoken too. Or we’ve simply been ignored or we take a word out of context. Our spouse is self-absorbed in something and we’re not getting the attention we hope for or desire. So we retreat, bite back, ignore or whatever our usual modus operandi might be.

But we’re called to be kind. Even when betrayed by Peter and when hanging on the Cross (“Father, forgive them for they know not what they’re doing.”) Jesus exercised kindness.

Sure, but Jesus was special. One of a kind. (excuse the pun)

Yes, but He was also an example for us to follow. But how do we do it?

By swinging back to the vine. By abiding.

“We aren’t required to bear fruit; we are required to abide in Christ. The result of abiding in Christ is bearing fruit and that is the proof of our discipleship.”1

The struggle in our marriages, in our friendships, with our children, can be unbearably hard. We can’t bear fruit on our own. I know, I’ve tried it. And come up short too many times. That’s why we gotta keep turning up to our secret place. Every. Day. Jesus is there waiting for us.

Share your hurt, share your joy, give Him everything you got. He can take it. He wants to take it.

The fruit will come.

Believe it. Know it. His Words are true and trustworthy.

Dear Lord, thank you for pursuing us, protecting us and wanting all of us. Help us to let go of our lives and hand them over to You. Be our guide as Your Word reminds us. Give us the courage to turn up every day in our secret place and to believe that Your Word is true. May kindness flow from us into our marriages, into our children, our workplaces and our friendships. We pray in Your mighty Name. Amen.

Note: 1. “Who I am in Christ,” Neil T. Anderson, Bethany House Publishers, 2014, location 2246 (Kindle edition) 

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Politics - An Ordinary Wife

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comPolitics and an ordinary believing wife. That would be me.

So, let’s pick up with one more truth to navigate the political season with our pre-believer.

Three: Politics won't rescue our world.

The shootings in America, the bombings in France and Belgium, the massacre in Nice, France, with a truck are utterly evil. They shock us to our core and the enemy uses these events to release fear into our hearts, homes and nations. No matter how many laws you pass, you can’t legislate evil out of the world.

Our world needs a heart change. It’s about the heart. It’s LOVE that changes everything.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. — 1 John 4:18

And my friends, we are loved -perfectly.

It’s a perfect kind of love that flows from our Father that empowers and moves me to love my husband even as we watch the evening news during a political season. It’s an unexplainable, heart-changing and supernatural love that overrides my fear of the future, fear about the political season and fear over my husband’s salvation.

Our Father is good. Utterly good. His intentions for His kids is goodness, prosperity, love, and adventure just to name a few. We need only begin to walk in His truth and let it transforms us from fearful and ridged people into beautiful, kind, good and giving believers.

So, even though at times, as I watch the news and I find myself wanting to speak truth to my husband as the talking heads roar on the tube, I fall under the restraint of the Holy Spirit and know my God loves me. He loves my husband. He loves this beautiful world he created. He hasn’t abandoned us as orphans and He is executing His extraordinary and astonishing plans. And it continues to blow my mind that He asks us to participate with Him in His strategies. Our faith, our prayers our votes, they matter…..

They matter so very much.

Be at peace this election season. Don’t become riled up over all the crazy. Pray and respond in love and in the grace of the Holy Spirit. Who knows? Come November maybe God will surprise all of us.

I adore you my friend. Thanks for tagging along with me as I work through my own angst about this season. Your grace and love overwhelms me. I adore you. Lynn

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Day of Atonement

Isaiah 66 2 Day of AtonementSUMites this is a day of fasting. Sunrise to sunset.

Humble and contrite. Humble and contrite. Humble and Contrite.

What does this mean to you today?

Psalm 51:17  My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.

Isaiah 66:2 Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the Lord. “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.

James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

There are a multitue of scripture verses on humility, Visit here.

May the Lord blesS you and keep you my friends. Great is our God and great are His mercies, grace and promises. 

Lord, let us be your people who respresent you well. In the name of your Son, Jesus, we pray. Amen

 

 There is someone who needs to hear this song today. May it change your life. 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

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Kingdom Miracle - Make Us Brave!

SUMite Nation: 

It’s time for another community miracle. Before I tell you this next miracle endeavor, let’s just take a minute to give honor and thanks to Jesus. Our community miracles in the past have been amazing and I am absolutely convinced God moved in our miracles and He was glorified. To read about them click on the Kingdom Miracles button in the navigation bar. 

Over the past couple of years God has been moving me out of my comfort zone. He has pressed me to pray for people in unique and often in unexpected times and places. (Remember when God told me to pray for the old woman walking down the street? That was one of those times.) 

So over the past two months this strong impression from the Lord keeps nagging me about praying for people in all places……. Wal-Mart… 

Yup. 

I believe it’s God’s heart that one day there will be lines of shoppers checking out at Walmart and there will also be a line of people waiting for prayer. So, that’s what we are going to do. 

Pray for people at Walmart. 

So how do we do that as a community? 

There are a couple of ways. 

First, I’ve contacted my local Walmart store and am in the process of confirming a date when we have the store manager’s permission to be at the front of the store. I will have that information in a day or so. I will let you know. Sometime in June. 

God showed me a picture of a table with a small sign on it that reads:

Need prayer

So, I’m committed to spending at least an hour or two out in front of the store. I’m hoping anyone, some of you, will be brave and join me in Temecula. I’m inviting you to be touched by the Holy Spirit and be part of what I think God is going to do when we begin to love on strangers at Walmart. 

The Second part is our Community is going to love on these people by giving them a $5 gift card. No questions asked. No requirements. Just unconditional love and a gift for no reason whatsoever. 

This is how I see it playing in my head. We arrive and are humble. We set up our table. We greet people gently as they enter or leave the store. Pass them a gift card and say, “Have a blessed day.” “You are loved.” If they need prayer, we will pray with them for whatever they need prayer. Let’s shock the world with unexpected love and provision… 

I know….. WILD, Hunh? 

The Second part of this is our community. I’m praying that all of you will be moved in your heart to be part of this crazy experiment. Will you consider donating a few gift cards? 

When you do we will write your name on the gift card. As we hand it to a shopper, we will say, (example) “This is from Teresa T. in Ohio.” We are going to blow the minds of these cynical and fruity Californians with love from all over the country, dare I say the world. (I will only write your first name and last initial and the state or country you reside.) 

Now I know not all of you can hop on a plane to California but if you are anywhere in the area on that day, join the SUMite Nation and let’s watch God move as we pray. Now, to take this further, if you want to do this at your local Walmart on the same day, contact me through the contact page. 

Two final things: We will have cameras there to capture God’s Community at work loving people. Still photos, videos, and I’m praying like crazy we will have some shoppers who encounter Christ, find healing, and give us a video testimony. (I pray BIG prayers) We will share with you the photos and the love that you are showering upon people with your donations. 

Please pray that God opens doors of generosity for those who can support this God encounter financially. You can give anywhere from $5 up to $20. And if you can't give, that is absolutely okay, cover us in prayer.

Start to pray now that you can come with us. Ask God for great provision that you can support with a donation. But mostly pray that the SUMite Nation represents our Jesus with love as we love on people and that they find…. HOPE. 

I love you my family. Please donate if you can. And now, tell me what you think in the comments. 

Jesus, this is a crazy thing to do but there are people that need you. They need to know they are loved. They need to see crazy faith and love lived out in ordinary people, even my neighbors. Lord, MAKE US BRAVE… Let this turn into a major encounter and a practice that is so well received by our city and it spreads across the nation. Let your name be glorified. I can’t wait to see what you do on this day in June. We love you so much. Your servants, the SUMite Nation. 

LOVE YOU, Lynn

 

 

 

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Weekend Worship — My Random Act of Kindness (RAK)

788824_dollar_billIt wasn’t an ordinary day for us. It was a landmark day. It was a day that would hold more meaning than I expected.

Our agenda that day was to get Leslie’s yearly MRI done and behind us so we could focus on Thanksgiving. It’s routine now and thankfully down to a yearly check to confirm she is still cancer free. And this was a landmark event—five years since her diagnosis of a malignant brain tumor.

We breathed a sigh of relief when it was done and headed to our next destination—the grocery story. There I bustled with my purse and shopping list, focused on what I needed to do next with my daughter along to help.

As I headed for the shopping carts, I hear a voice ask, “Can you spare some change for food?”

I follow the source and find myself looking down at a young woman sitting next to a young man about her age. They seem as average as anyone I would have passed inside the store, yet there they sat asking for food in front of a building full of it.

My friends, this is where it gets interesting and astonishing—not for them but for me!

I suddenly found myself sitting on the cement step next to them, asking about their situation—not to be nosey but to give a listening heart and ear. This young woman’s eyes grew large and a bit stunned, reflecting exactly what I was feeling inside.

Let me share a little of my inner dialogue with myself. “What are you doing? What in the world made you do that!?”

The Holy Spirit did. And I still laugh as I think about it, because something like this is way out of my comfort zone. But in that moment, it wasn’t. I didn’t even think about it, just did it.

After they shared their story of being in a program to help people get back on their feet, but that the facility didn’t have a much in their “coffers” to help them, I felt led to share with them where we had just come from. I was able to point to my daughter and say, “There stands my walking and talking miracle.”

Having very little cash in my wallet, I offered to buy them a gift card inside the grocery story. Veronica thanked me profusely and came with me. As we walked into the store, she shared how she was a cancer survivor too. Breast cancer.

The power of testimony.

My friends, God’s divine appointments never cease to stun me. In that moment I understood why I was supposed to share about Leslie and how God planned this day to remind all of us about His goodness in the past and see it front and center that day.

I felt like the one blessed more than Veronica as I shared God’s goodness to us and told her that all I was doing was passing it on. God loves us that much and wants us to share His goodness. I continued to pray for Veronica and her friend the rest of the day. And praised Abba for the chance to give. Yes, I had moments of doubt, wondering if I did the right thing, but I recognized the enemy’s attempt to discourage me from doing things like this again.

And I learned that being taken out of our comfort zone doesn’t always mean we will be uncomfortable, but we will most certainly be blessed beyond our expectations.

Keep sharing your RAKs, my friends! Can’t wait to hear more! Love you with the heart of Jesus! Dineensig

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A Marriage of Honor

So my friends, it’s been a tough week. On Friday morning I telephoned Dineen on her cell phone and said, “I need you to pray for me. I’m really sick and can’t seem to kick this cough. It’s one in the afternoon and getting into Kaiser (our healthcare provider) will be impossible at this late hour on a Friday afternoon. The weekend is then here and I’m traveling with my daughter to BIOLA on Monday for a college interview. I can’t get in to see a doctor before Tuesday.” Whining I say, “I need to get well.”

My BFF, Dineen, was out and about at that moment and said as soon as she arrived home she would call me back and pray with me. I hung up.

I prayed myself, “Lord, heal me. Lord, heal me. Lord, just heal me.” I’m betting some of you have been in such a broken place, a place where you are physically sick, emotionally sick, spiritually sick that all you can do is pray, ‘Lord, heal me.”

I hung up the phone and heard the prompting of the Holy Spirit, “Call the doctor.” I phoned and miracle of miracles, they had an open appointment in an hour. I rushed off to the office, texted Dineen that I was on my way to the doctor and I arrived, checked in and just as I was entering the waiting area, a nurse was already calling my name. I hadn’t even sat down to wait.

God likes to show off that way at times.

The nicest Doc said I was sick. She prescribed a ton of stuff to treat a sinus infection, walking pneumonia and the sniffles. Sheesh, I didn’t know I was THAT sick. No wonder all I did for two weeks was sit on the couch.

As I write this it’s Sunday afternoon. I’ve been sick now for three weeks and I am finally starting to feel a little better. But what is fascinating to me is that my physical weakness has left me spiritually weak. And the enemy knew just when and how to hit me. Because I’ve been so sick, I haven’t been retreating to my morning wilderness walk-n-prays. I started to walk a couple times this week. Set out and walked maybe 50 yards and then turned right around and came home. This shortened my praying and lessened the time I filled my spirit to fight the battles.

Why am I sharing all this with you? Well for a couple of reasons. One: I didn’t really understand how vital it is to keep our triune person healthy. I haven’t really experienced until today how my physical weakness has greatly impacted my spiritual and emotional strength. We are made of a soul, physical body, and a mind (emotions). We must care for and feed each part of ourselves.

Two: When we are weak in one area, we can become weak in all other areas. I’ve haven’t felt this defeated in a long, long time. Let me tell you when I’m sick, I’m not a good patient. I’m grouchy, fussy, and what I hate most of all- I’m negative minded. Geeze. Ask my husband. He had to put up with me the last three weeks. Sheesh!

But you know what has bugged me most of all. How I slipped down the slippery path of this negative thinking. I became uber critical of my husband. I was short tempered and felt as though everything this man did around me irritated me. He annoyed me, disappointed me and argued with me.

For crying out loud on Saturday we argued over a load of laundry. Good grief, I looked at him and said, “Why are we arguing over laundry?”

My friends, as a believer it’s up to me to be the aroma of kindness in my home. And this past week, I was the stink. If you vomit on someone, they are going to stink like you. Now I didn’t physically throw up on my husband but I stank and it made him stink too.

So after church this morning, I asked for prayer. I’m on the road to physical health, emotional health and spiritual health. I NEVER want to be this smelly again in my marriage. I’m convinced that I set the tone of our home. Remember in 1 Corinthians 7:14 we the believer sanctify our home. So, as of today, I’m on a mission of kindness. It is my great desire to honor my husband and honor my marriage.

What does that look like?

HonsignHonor in marriage is where we celebrate who the person is without stumbling over what they are not. –Bill Johnson

I’m determined to focus on my husband’s strengths and love him with kindness and honor.

Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

I’m wondering if you might want to join me on this journey? I wonder if you have been the one who like me, needs to give a little grace and receive a little grace?

If so, pray with me.

Father, stop me in my tracks if I’m not walking in the power of your kindness. Amen

 

Today, let’s focus on looking at our spouse through the eyes of honor. Have an amazing week. Hugs, Lynn

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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